Numerous International Trips and Golf Cart Rentals
The U.S. Secret Service is mandated by law to protect the president and his or her family members no matter where in the world they choose to travel, but already theÂ federal law enforcement agency has run out of funds to pay 1000 agents who work the First Family's detail. International trips by Trump's sons and daughters as well as the president's weekly trips to his golf courses have tapped out the agency's budget, according to an exclusive report in USA Today.
Citing "theÂ sheer size of President Trump's family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast," USA Today reports "1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandatedÂ caps for salary and overtime allowancesÂ that were meant to last the entire year," according toÂ Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex'' Alles.
"Alles said the service is grappling withÂ an unprecedented number of White House protectees. Under Trump, 42Â people have protection,Â a number that includes 18 members of his family. That's up from 31 during the Obama administration," the paper reports.
"Overwork and constant travelÂ have also been driving a recent exodus from the Secret Service ranks, yet without congressional intervention to provideÂ additional funding, Alles will not even be able to pay agents for the work they have already done."Â
Even if Congress provides additional funds, "about 130 veteran agents would not be fully compensated for hundreds of hours already amassed, according to the agency."
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) says she is "committed to working with my colleagues on both sides" to ensure "the men and women who put their lives on the line protecting the president, his family and others every day are getting paid fairly for their work." McCaskill is the Ranking Democrat on the SenateÂ Homeland Security Committee.
Without some legislative relief, though, at least 1,100 agents â€“ for now â€“ would not be eligible for overtime even as one of the agency's largest protective assignments looms next month.Â NearlyÂ 150 foreign heads of state are expected to converge on New York City for the United Nations General Assembly.Â
USA Today detailed just some of the strains on the Secret Service budget.
Always costly in manpower and equipment,Â the president's jaunts to Mar-a-Lago are estimated to cost at least $3 million each, based on a General Accounting Office estimate for similar travel by former President Obama. The Secret Service has spent someÂ $60,000 on golf cart rentals alone this yearÂ to protect Trump at both Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster.Â
The president, First Lady Melania TrumpÂ and the couple's youngest son Barron â€“ who maintained a separate detail in Trump Tower until JuneÂ â€“ aren't the only ones on the move with full-time security details in tow.
Trump's other sons, Trump Organization executives Donald Jr. and Eric, based in New York, also areÂ covered by security details, including when they travel frequentlyÂ to promote Trump-branded properties in other countries.
A few examples:Â Earlier this year, Eric Trump's business travel to Uruguay cost the Secret Service nearly $100,000 just for hotel rooms.Â Other trips included the United Kingdom and the Dominican Republic.Â In February, both sons and their security details traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia, for the opening of new Trump hotel there, and to Dubai toÂ officially openÂ a TrumpÂ International Golf Club.
InÂ March, security details accompanied part of the family, including Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner on a skiing vacation in Aspen, Colo. Even Tiffany Trump, the president's younger daughter, took vacations with her boyfriendÂ to international locales such as Germany and Hungary,Â which also require Secret Service protection.Â
The Trump family, including the President, have shown no interest in curtailing their activities.Â
Some responses via Twitter:
Source: "Clinton treated USSS agents like friends. Bush treated them w great respect. Obama, like family. Trump treats them like servants." https://t.co/9QeQZ1QrdBâ€” Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) August 21, 2017
Fun fact: The Secret Service will be Donald Trump's first bankruptcy since Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009.â€” Gabe OrtÃz (@TUSK81) August 21, 2017
The Secret Service has spent $60k on golf cart rentals alone â€” which goes into Trump's pocket. https://t.co/HqXkLt9Arwâ€” shauna (@goldengateblond) August 21, 2017
Good to know he's running the Secret Service exactly the way he runs a business.â€” John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) August 21, 2017
If this happened under Obama, congress would figure out a way to officially ground him. https://t.co/LuTOHkOFOsâ€” Schooley (@Rschooley) August 21, 2017
Since February, the Secret Service has spent more on golf cart rentals at Trump-owned properties than most American families make in a year.â€” Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) August 21, 2017
Trump ripped through annual Secret Service budget in 7 months.â€” Adam Best (@adamcbest) August 21, 2017
Where are all the "fiscal conservatives" who freaked over Obama vacays now? https://t.co/nh9YNX638q
The American people, and GOP leaders, must demand Trump stop weekend travel to golf clubs & end familyâ€™s lavish travel now. https://t.co/DbfQ0UZqTWâ€” Mike Signorile (@MSignorile) August 21, 2017
There is something fundamentally corrupt going on when the president is MAKING money off of vacations to his own properties.â€” Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) August 21, 2017
To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.